Thursday, November 13, 2008

Mae West: Joseph V. McKee

When New York City's Mayor Jimmy Walker went out-of-town briefly, he left Joseph V. McKee in charge — — and his deputy's first act was to have three actresses arrested on 9 February 1927 and the third Broadway headliner was MAE WEST.
• • The raid and arrest in 1927 are dramatized in the play "Courting Mae West."
• • Since the month of November focuses on voting and going to the polls — — here's how we remember "Holy Joe" on 7 November 1933, when he was casting his ballot for himself on Morris Avenue in the borough of the Bronx. Fortunately, Fiorello LaGuardia won the mayoralty instead of this humorless would-be censor who wanted to scrub all the "dirt plays" off Broadway.
• • Bronx-born Roman Catholic Joseph V. McKee, Sr. [8 August 1889 — 28 January 1956] was originally a teacher at DeWitt Clinton High School and a lecturer in Latin and Greek at Fordham University. Eventually, he became a politically active Democrat.
• • Joseph McKee married Cornelia Kraft on 27 November 1918.
• • He served as a New York State Assemblyman for the 7th Assembly District (Bronx County) from 1918 — 1923, and was a Municipal Judge from 1924 — 1926. In 1926, he was tapped to serve as President of the New York City Board of Aldermen with James J. Walker as Mayor.
• • Joseph McKee was appointed Acting Mayor of New York City after the resignation of Mayor Walker on 1 September 1932.
• • On 31 October 1933, Samuel Seabury, chairman of the Fusion campaign committee, declared in an address from radio station WFAB that the voters had already determined to get rid of both Mayor O'Brien and Joseph V. McKee. Seabury called Mr. McKee the representative of a "sinister group" of Tammany leaders.
• • Though Mae West was not living in The Big Apple during November 1933, she was certainly relieved to hear that the man who made her spend the night in Jefferson Market Jail was finally ousted from City Hall.
• • Come up and see Mae every day online:

• • Photo:
• • Mae West's censor • • Joseph V. McKee
• •

Mae West.

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